A ramshackle castle with an even more ramshackle village in Rajasthan.
Ghanerao Royal Castle is one of a kind- a real aristocratic manor that has kept all of its old-world charm (and old-world plumbing).
Most Rajasthani heritage hotels have been 'upgraded' to offer a Disneyfied experience. Ghanerao Castle is like staying with an impoverished aristocratic uncle whose house is full of unexpected treasures.
Conveniently located halfway between Udaipur and Jodhpur, Ghanerao makes an excellent stopover as well a great base to explore the Jain temples of Ranakpur and the mighty fort of Kumbalgarh. Map.
Although Ghanerao village is definitely part of the attraction, the 'royal castle' of Ganerao is really a sight in its own right and well worth a stopover.
You can (and should) stay at the castle, but don't expect a 5* hotel experience. It's more like a homestay, with the difference being that the home is an expansive aristocratic mansion. Rather than creating a faux 'ye olde Rajasthan' experience, the family who still owns this mansion decided to leave it as much as possible in the original state. Shabby chic, indeed.
|The imposing gate of the castle.|
|Right, Ganerao Castle, left, the Royal Dog enjoying some heavy petting.|
There are three main courtyards, a temple as well as squealing peacocks, but the heart of the castle is a Moghul-style baradari (open arched pavillion) with plenty of space to lounge and get comfy.
|The Moghul courtyard with its marble baradari.|
|Ganerao village features traditional Rajasthani havelis...|
|...and lots of turbaned grandfathers.|
|A morning stroll in the village.|
Public transport is not very reliable in this part of India- it's best to come with your own car and driver. Onward transport can be arranged locally- or keep your driver for the onward journey.
Ghanerao Royal Castle website